Jay Block, a current Sandoval County Commissioner, is running to be governor of New Mexico because he said he wants to use his leadership experience to help New Mexico recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, support local businesses and keep families safe. His district within the Sandoval County Commission includes residents in the Village of Corrales and in southeast Rio Rancho. Block is one of four Republicans who have announced they would challenge Democratic Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham who seeks re-election. Also preparing to run in the Republican primary are Karen Bedonie of Farmington, Greg Zanetti of Albuquerque and Tim Walsh of Albuquerque.
Block is proud of his job as commissioner and points out that during his leadership Corrales was voted the safest city in New Mexico in SafeWise and Movoto reports. He also notes that Rio Rancho, now his hometown, is the most affordable place to live in New Mexico and one of the most affordable cities in the country. Block mentioned that he has a long history of leadership in military, business and government. The Republican candidate served in the military as an ICBM missile maintenance and launch officer before serving in Afghanistan in 2005-2006. After his military service, he worked in business as a consultant in private industry. His tenure in government service began in 2016 when he was elected as a Sandoval County commissioner.
Block suggested that he has been successful in leadership because he is good at working across the aisle to promote compromise. He explained his approach to politics by referencing a Venn diagram: politicians approach issues and the policymaking process with their own beliefs and values, and some of these beliefs may differ from other politicians and constituents. But good policies can be developed by focusing on values and beliefs that people have in common, the candidate said, adding that he is responsive to the needs of his constituents, and he always tries to respond to their concerns.
During an interview, he described the conduct of the current governor’s administration. He is highly critical of Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham for her handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. He said her policies caused unnecessary harm to New Mexican businesses. And he believes that her administration has treated conservatives unfairly. As for his proposed policies, Block supports lowering taxes for first responders, ending state taxation on military pensions and social security benefits, limiting the power of the governor and securing the southern border.